TOP 8 Best Cheap Smartphones 2019: Under $250

Low Price, Great Value

Saving up $800 or more for an iPhone XSPixel 3 XL or new Galaxy S10? You don’t have to. Today’s budget smartphones are so good that you won’t feel like you’re settling.

For less than $250, you can get a big screen, enough performance to run the most popular apps and even a metal design. Cameras in this phone price range have also improved greatly. No, you won’t get special features, like waterproof designs, or serious graphics power for playing games, but overall, these handsets are excellent values. 

As you shop around, make sure that the model you choose works with your carrier. Many unlocked phones are GSM-only, which means they’re compatible with providers like T-Mobile, AT&T and MetroPCS but not Verizon and Sprint. However, some cheap handsets like the Moto G6 and the new Moto G7 work with all of the major networks.


Rating: 4 out of 5

Update: The new Moto G7 offers a faster processor, bigger screen and more sophisticated camera, so stay tuned for our full review. There’s also the cheaper Moto G7 Play and Moto G7 power with huge battery on the way.

The best phone you can get for the money, the Moto G6 offers a colorful 5.7-inch display with minimal bezels, dual cameras and solid performance form its Snapdragon 450 processor. Plus, unlike most unlocked phones, you can use this one on any GSM or CDMA carrier, so it will work with all of the major providers.

Other perks of the GG6 include a powerful speaker, a fingerprint sensor up front that lets you perform various shortcuts gestures and TurboPower Charging to get the phone juiced up fast via USB-C. The battery life is pretty good, too, at about 9.5 hours.


Rating: 4 out of 5

Here’s a scenario: you’ve got just $200 to spend, but you have certain requirements for creature comforts, like a massive 18:9 full-screen design, solid midrange performance, a metal chassis, and dual cameras. It turns out only one phone checks all those boxes, and it’s the Honor 7X. A great handset from Huawei’s budget-focused brand, the 7X has about everything the average user could ask for in a smartphone, but costs just a third of what you’d spend on most flagship models.

Unfortunately, like many cheap unlocked phones, the 7X is only compatible with GSM networks, like AT&T and T-Mobile. If that doesn’t impact you, though, you’ll have a hard time finding a better value among Android devices. And it’s now available for pre-order through Amazon. Update:The Honor 8X has been announced with an even bigger 6.5-inch display, but it is not yet available in the U.S. We are in the process of reviewing the phone.


Rating: 4 out of 5

Update: This phone seems to only be in stock for Boost Mobile customers. Available for Sprint and its prepaid services like Boost, the ZTE Max XLlives up to its name by packing a delightfully bright 6-inch screen and a 3,990 mAh battery that will get you through the day on a charge. A Snapdragon 435 processor provides decent performance, especially for a phone with a price tag of around $100, depending on which carrier you buy from.


  • Rating: 3.5 out of 5
  • Normally, we don’t recommend phones under $100, but the Moto E5 Play is an exception, because it provides a decent size 5.2-inch display, adequate performance from its Snapdragon 425 processor and an 8-MP camera that gets the job done. You also get a fingerprint sensor and removable battery. Just be prepared to make some trade-offs in terms of screen resolution and battery life.


Rating: 3 out of 5

A good Samsung phone under $200? The J7 Prime is a pretty solid handset for the price, offering a 5.5-inch full HD screen and a pretty impressive 13 megapixel camera. The shooter works well even in low light. The Galaxy S6-like design looks pretty good, too. The Exynos processor inside the J7 Prime provides decent performance, but the 8.5 hours of battery life is below average.

6.ZTE Blade Max View

Rating: 3 out of 5

ZTE’s Blade Max View isn’t much a comeback effort for the brand after the company was hit with an import ban. The $199 phone has a big 6-inch display but it’s running the now ancient Android 7.1 Nougat and its Snapdragon 435 CPU offers middling performance. Yeah, the battery life ls great at nearly 13 hours, but overall you’re better off with phones like the Moto G6 or Nokia 6.1.

7.Asus ZenFone 4 Max

Rating: 3 out of 5

The Max part of this phone’s name definitely refers to the battery life, as this Asus lasted an epic 15 hours on our web surfing test. The ZenFone 4 Max also allows for reverse charging through a packaged USB on-the-go cable, meaning you can top off other mobile devices. Other features include a fingerprint sensor, 720p 5.5-inch screen and dual cameras: a 13-megapixel shooter and a wide-angle lens with a 120-degree field-of-view, rated at 5-MP. However, the design is a bit dated (complete with microUSB) and the software looks and feels cluttered.

Asus now offers the ZenFone 5Q, but it’s priced above $250 and its microUSB charging and ho-hum cameras make it a non-starter.

8. Blu R2 Plus

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

The Blu R2 Plus is a decent Android phone under $150 with a 5.5-inch display, a fingerprint reader and 13-MP camera that performs pretty well for the price. There are some odd design choices, though, such as the microUSB port on the top of the phone. What ultimately put this handset towards the back of the pack is its middling battery life and sluggish MediaTek processor.

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